Testing the Team Identification–Social Psychological Health Model: Mediational Relationships Among Team Identification, Sport Fandom, Sense of Belonging, and Meaning in Life

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Abstract

The team identification–social psychological health model predicts that sport team identification leads to social connections which, in turn, result in well-being. This pattern of effects was tested in a sample of 380 college students completing measures of sport fandom, identification with their university’s men’s basketball team, sense of belonging, and meaning in life. Mediation analyses and structural equation modeling indicated that, as expected, belonging mediated the relationship between identification and meaning in life. In addition, belonging also mediated the relationship between fandom and meaning in life. Discussion includes the importance of the well-being consequences of social ties gained through sport fandom, including connections that are more casual in nature.

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